The Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology, H.E Dr. Martial De-Paul Ikounga, was among many dignitaries who converged on the Algerian city of Tlemcen for the graduation of the first batch of students of the Pan African University (PAU) Institute for Water and Energy Sciences (including Climate Change), PAUWES. Hosted by the University of Tlemcen, PAUWES is the fourth thematic institute to be established under the PAU. The Institute offers Masters and PhD programs in Water and Energy respectively. Both specializations have a policy and an engineering track, culminating in the award of joint postgraduate degrees from the Pan African University and the University of Tlemcen. 26 graduands from 12 African countries were awarded Masters degrees at Thursday’s graduation ceremony.
Commissioner Ikounga used the opportunity to advise the young graduates to embody the vision of the African Union Commission in creating the PAU by nurturing quality, exemplifying excellence and strengthening African integration. He expressed hope that the graduates will contribute to Africa’s fight against the major scourges of climate change and drought.
The PAU is an African Union flagship program aligned to the Agenda 2063 aspiration for well-educated and skilled citizens, underpinned by science, technology and innovation for a knowledge society. It is designed to inject quality, relevance and excellence into African higher education, so that Africa produces a critical mass of highly skilled, knowledgeable and competitive scientists, researchers and scholars who will drive the continent’s socio-economic development.
Under the PAU framework, a thematic institute focusing on specialized areas of study and research is to be located in various African regions. Three PAU institutes are already operational in Kenya, Nigeria and Cameroon, each serving as a hub for would-be Centers of Excellence with similar thematic orientation. The next PAU institute dedicated to Space Sciences will be hosted in South Africa.
The first graduation of the PAU Water and Energy Sciences Institute comes at a time when many African countries are confronted with challenges in meeting the water and energy resource needs of their populations, as well as mitigating the impact of Climate Change and variability. The new Institute therefore, has a crucial role to play in carving inroads for innovative water and energy technologies for Africa, developing appropriate tools for the sustainable use and management of water and energy resources, and in harnessing strategies for climate adaptation in the continent.
The Federal Republic of Germany is the Key Thematic Partner for PAUWES, with a commitment to providing financial and technical support for the Institute.Distributed by APO on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).